Update – letter from the Premier, and my response

The Premier wrote me back, you can read it here: 20200128 Premier NS to Mason, Waye

So I wrote him back, letter here, text below: 20200126 premier garage second letter (final)

January 28, 2020

The Honourable Stephen McNeil
Premier, Province of Nova Scotia
P.O. Box 726, Halifax, NS B3J 1X5

Dear Premier McNeil:

RE: RESPONSE TO PLANNED HOSPITAL RENEWAL QE2 SITES HALIFAX

Premier, thank you for your letter dated January 28, 2020.

I am pleased to let you know that last night I shared your letter with Halifax Regional Council, and Council voted unanimously to invite Transportation Infrastructure Renewal to present the hospital plan in public session. I look forward to receiving answers to the questions I put to you in my letter of January 24, 2020, for which I have yet to receive an answer. The Minister can expect a letter from Mayor Savage shortly.

Premier, if I have shared incorrect information it is only because the entire plan and changes to the April 2018 master plan have not been made public by your government.

The ability to share information was further reduced by the provinces insistence that the Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) was required to be signed by HRM staff when discussions started and continues to apply to this day. Staff and Council have been unable to update Commons tenants and our residents until the province has given leave to do so. It is unfortunate that the government has published the tender before making the entire up-to-date hospital plan public.

Now that the tender is public, it is clear that the garage is in fact twice the size of the current parking lot, and 39% of the land (approximately 2500 square meters of 6500) required to build it is HRM parkland. This is not a “small portion” of the project’s footprint and supports of the many concerns I have expressed to you.

The proposed garage is in fact two times the area as the existing surface parking lot. It is taking valuable un-programmed recreational green space, and the Halifax Wanderers FC and the Halifax Junior Bengal Lancers will experience real, negative, impacts.

I urge your government to make the full plan public, including the proposed heating plant, and the proposed encroachment over Summer Street the tender document indicates is contemplated, and look for better solutions than this damaging, unnecessary expansion of the Halifax Infirmary site onto the historic Common.

Yours,

Waye Mason
Councillor | Le Conseiller | Comhairlaiche | Wunaqapeme’j
District 7 – Halifax South Downtown
Tel 902.490.8462 | Cell 902.430.7822 | Email waye.mason@halifax.ca

CC:      Members of the Legislative Assembly, Nova Scotia
Halifax Regional Council
Board, Nova Scotia Federation of Municipalities